Learning to drive can be seriously expensive. Most hourly rates are priced at over £20, meaning multiple lessons can leave you severely out of pocket. Here are five top tips for saving cash as you earn that precious license.
1. Practise between lessons with a friend or relative
Keep in mind you’ll need learner insurance for the car you’ll be driving, but sneaking in extra sessions with a family member or friend can be a shortcut to passing quickly and saving cash on a professional instructor.
2. Use online resources to pass your theory test
Books can be pricey, so it’s fortunate there are lots of free apps online that can help prepare you for the written part of the exam. With a wide variety now available, you can choose the one most suited to your particular learning style.
Also, remember that it’s cheaper to register your provisional license online than by post. This saves you shelling out on more photos as they use the ones already in place with the passport agency.
3. Choose your instructor wisely
An ill-prepared instructor might cost you in the long run – especially if after a few sessions you need to start from scratch. Every instructor should be registered with the DVSA and have their badge displayed prominently inside their car.
The badges are colour-coded: green means the instructor has all their qualifications and DVSA checks; pink is for trainees. Price is important when picking an instructor, but it’s worth your while making sure you feel comfortable and confident in their presence.
Listen to referrals and word-of-mouth. Judging whether you’re getting value from an instructor is never easy, but a typical rule-of-thumb is that it takes more than 25 hours of learning to reach driving test standard. Also, avoid instructors who ‘piggyback’ sessions by picking up their next client before your lesson is over.
If you’re paying an instructor you deserve their full attention, and shouldn’t be expected to drive with another student present. On a more positive note, some instructors offer discounts on free hours in exchange for recommending their services to a friend.
4. Two-hour lessons
An hour learning to drive in a car can pass quickly. It’s not uncommon for learners to need that amount of time each session to really feel they’ve made progress.
With this in mind booking a two-hour lesson may equate to better value. In addition, some private instructors and driving schools offer discounts for a two-hour block, or for booking several lessons well in advance.
Ask about these kinds of offers when choosing who to learn with.
5. Consider learning intensively
While traditional one-hour or two-hour lessons suit most people, you may find you benefit from a more intensive course. These condense the learning into a period of just a week or a fortnight.
Finally – and hardest to do! – pass first time! This will save you both test and additional lesson fees in the future.
With the cost of learning to drive increasing year on year, consider using these tips to save a little cash. Best of luck!